The Great Wall of Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” They work just as hard as any of their teammates but reap little in the way of statistical glory.
And that doesn’t seem to bother a single member of the Glenwood Springs offensive line. A final score in the football Demons’ favor is reward enough.
“Personally, I take more pride in the final score,” senior guard Greg Orosz said, “because I know I was part of the reason that it happened like that.”
Orosz and the rest of the Demon front have served an integral role in producing 10 straight final scores in Glenwood’s favor.
And they’ve helped quarterback Dakota Stonehouse and running back Michael Hudson put up ridiculous numbers in the process.
The former’s thrown for 1,710 yards and 14 touchdowns and the latter’s rushed for 1,123 yards and 23 scores on a 12.4 yards-per-carry average, signs that the Demons’ front line is more than holding its own as the team heads into the Class 3A playoffs.
Six regulars ” Orosz, Hunter McCallum, Dru Avery, Moses Galvan, Connor Pawlak and Evan Wagstrom ” comprise the group that keeps Stonehouse upright and opens up holes for Hudson. All are seniors except for Pawlak, who’s a junior.
Much like the entire Glenwood team, the Demons’ O-line is a unified, chemistry-bound bunch. Even Wagstrom, the newcomer to the group who transferred from Coal Ridge this school year and had to sit the season’s first five games, had no problem blending in.
“Right when I stepped in I felt comfortable with these guys,” Wagstrom said. “Everyone works so hard.”
Togetherness is a driving force and is propelling this group. Wagstrom aside, everyone’s played together since elementary school. That’s the sort of intangible quality coaches crave.
“That’s the great part about those guys. They do work well together,” Glenwood offensive line coach Travis Benson lauded. “No matter what position they play. They’ve been changed around a lot throughout the season, game to game. They’ve learned to build trust and camaraderie.”
“We can definitely trust each other,” Galvan said. “You don’t have that doubt. We know each other’s movements and actions in certain situations.”
That trust extends all the way to the quarterback and running back the line’s charged with protecting. After all, they’ve been playing with Stonehouse and Hudson just as long as they’ve been playing alongside one another.
“Stats and stuff don’t matter when you’ve got guys like Doc (Stonehouse) and Mike behind you,” said McCallum, the line’s little guy at 5 feet, 8 inches and 165 pounds. “We want them to go score a touchdown. They make us want to block for them.”
McCallum’s kind words were reciprocated by his quarterback.
“They’re the ones working hard,” Stonehouse said. “They’re in the trenches every play. We’re just reading the blocks. We’ve been playing together since the fourth, fifth grade. We’ve grown up together, hanging out. It’s not just football. We’re best friends. It means a lot when we’re on the football field playing together.”
Stonehouse and Hudson have mastered the art of making the line feel appreciated. A pat on the back and laudatory word or two go a long way.
“They’ll pat us on the back and say, ‘Good job, good job,'” noted Avery, the line’s starting center and leader.
“If you take a wrong step and they get tackled, they don’t get up in your face,” Orosz added. “They just say, ‘Keep it up. You’re doing a good job.'”
And they’re doing a good job despite not being the biggest of lines. The Demons do have size ” Orosz, Galvan and Pawlak all weigh in at 250 pounds or more and Wagstrom is 6-foot-4 and sturdily built ” but matched up against some of the state’s top teams, they’re on the smallish side.
“We’re definitely on the small side,” Orosz conceded, “but we’re definitely a lot faster and stronger.”
They also brandish a fierce determination that’s tough for opponents to overcome and have coaches scribbling Xs and Os dictated to their style of play.
“They put their heart into finishing the job,” Benson said. “Our zone scheme’s set up well, with compliments to (head coach) Rocky (Whitworth). It caters to them not necessarily being the biggest in the conference.”
And, true to the nature of the best offensive linemen, Stonehouse and Hudson rack up their big numbers behind a selfless bunch.
“You kind of have to be a selfless person,” Galvan stressed. “At the same time, you get the benefits. There’s no stats or anything, but you do.”
The only stat that matters to these guys is the final score and, considering that’s something that has yet to go against Glenwood in 2008, it’s no wonder members of the Demons’ offensive line have no qualms toiling outside the spotlight.
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